Elm Grove Public School/Kruger Street School History, 1908
-from "A History of Education in West Virginia," 1908
The Elm Grove Public School
BY A. W. CURTIS, PRINCIPAL.
At the forks of Wheeling Creek, about five miles east of Wheeling on the old Cumberland road, stands the historic town of Elm Grove.
Moses Shepherd was the first white man to build a home here, and become a permanent settler, having received the first land grant in this section, in the year 1802, August 26th.
The first school house within the present corporate limits of the town was a one-room building erected in the year 1859. The site was on the banks of Little Wheeling Creek, a part of the Moses Shepherd estate, and was secured from Mrs. Kruger to be used for school purposes during her life. At her death it was purchased by Andrew Vance, president of the Board of Education, from the commissioners appointed by the Circuit Court to settle the estate of Moses Shepherd. In this building the youth of Elm Grove were instructed until the accommodations were inadequate. The building was then moved, in 1871, about two hundred yards farther up the road, and a new two-room structure erected on the old site.
The old building has since been purchased by the Board of Education and is now the colored school of Elm Grove. The colored school is not under the jurisdiction of the Elm Grove Graded School and is in no way connected with it. For a number of years colored teachers have had charge of this institution.
To keep pace with the growth of the town, a two-room wing was built in 1881 to the original two-room structure. Again, another two room wing was built in 1899, making a six-room building. But in 1905 one of the large rooms was partitioned to increase the capacity, and within the last year one of the town halls has been pressed into service. In the summer of 1905 a bond issue was authorized; by which means money was procured to erect a new building. The old site and building were sold at auction to M. N. Cecil. A new site on the banks of Big Wheeling Creek was purchased. This site was also originally a part of the Moses Shepherd estate. It is interesting to know that this ground was once an Indian burial ground. In the spring of 1906 work was begun in the new building, and on February 1, 1907, the pupils and teachers said good bye to the old school house and took up their work in the new.
This building is an up-to-date structure, a two-story brick, with basement. It is a credit to the town and a credit to the men who planned and sanctioned it. It contains twelve recitation rooms, a room for the Board of Education, a principal's office and library, and two manual training rooms. It is plumbed for both gas and water and wired for electric lights. The hot air system of heating is used and ventilation is aided by an electric fan. In fact it has all the conveniences to make a school room comfortable and attractive and school work easy.
The present Board of Education – W. M. Hervey, president; J. F. Shirk and G. W. GUY, commissioners, and W. L. Duncan, secretary –have done many things to lighten the burdens of the teachers and make their work easy and successful. Maps, relief maps, charts, mathematical blocks and globes have been furnished, free text books have been provided and supplementary readers and text books have been purchased when needed.
The first principal of the Elm Grove, School was G. A. Kyle, who served in 1875 and 1876. His assistant was Miss Lee Hervey. The following are the principals that followed him:
J. B. Frazier and Brown Atkinson, in 1877.
Mrs. A. B. Eckhart. 1878 - 1881.
Miss Lizzie Brownlee, 1882.
Frazier Gardner, 1883 - 1888.
H. G. Lazear. 1889 - 1891.
J. H. Lazear. 1892.
J. C. Maxwell, 1893 - 89 and 1900 - 1901.
J. D. Muldoon.1899.
A. W., Curtis, 1902 to the present time.
Since the present system of graduation was adopted for the public schools, Elm Grove has had nine graduating classes, as follows:
1895 - The first class, one boy and four girls.
1897 - One boy.
1898 - Three boys and six girls.
1899 - Three boys and two girls.
1900- Two boys and three girls.
1901- Two girls.
1902 - Four boys and five girls.
1904 - Two boys and seven girls.
1906 - Three boys and eight girls.
In all there have been fifty-six graduates.
There are now nine pupils in the ninth year, candidates for diplomas in 1907.
The Elm Grove School is the largest school in the country districts of Ohio County. Its enrollment last year was 328. The faculty now consists of eight teachers.
The chief pride of the Elm Grove School is in its library. This library, consisting of choice biography, history, travel, fiction, works of reference, etc., is the largest and best working library to be found in the public schools of the county. In fact much of the extra work of the present principal has been toward building up, this library.
We are following the nine-year course of study as outlined by State Superintendent Thomas C. Miller in his graded manual In addition to this we have also the principal's schedule, which outlines' the books adopted by the County Book Board, according to the graded manual.
High School work is also being done in the following branches: Literature, Rhetoric, Physical Geography, Latin,' Algebra, also advanced work in Arithmetic, Grammar and General, History.
A daily schedule is followed which limits the number of recitations in all the rooms, except the primary room, to thirteen. This gives' each teacher a twenty-five minute period in which to hear each recitation.
The principal's schedule is limited to ten daily recitations.
The present corps of teachers is doing good work, and the Elm Grove Graded School is contributing her mite to help along the great cause of education.